December 2nd 2007 Episode 13

Eye Am: Women Behind the Lens is a short film series showcasing women's memoir spanning across all genres of film and video.

EA airs @ 9:30-10:30pm the 1st Sunday of the month on...
Manhattan Neighborhood Network
Time Warner #34/ RCN #82 (in Manhattan)& Streaming Live Online at www.mnn.org (Worldwide)

Tune in December 2nd for the work of Giovanna Chesler, Naiti Gámez, Kim Khielhofner, & Margie Schnibbe

Episode Breakdown

Beauteous: Stephanie (2000) 14:40 min.
A young woman born with a cranio facial deformity, a cleft lip and palate, recounts the numerous surgeries she endured to transform her face. Her reflection challenges societal beauty standards which may have required these surgeries. The film is crafted through interviews with Stephanie where she recounts her experience in school and in the hospital. Images avoid her face, focusing instead on abstract representations of beauty and her past. BeauteouS: Stephanie is the first in the BeauteouS trilogy – three portraits of three sisters and their relationships to beauty.

Beauteous: Giovanna (2002) 3:40 min.
The multiple ways the filmmaker understands her body come to light during an accident involving hairspray and a flame. Using sound and image experiments, this short black and white experimental narrative reveals both grotesque and beautiful perceptions of self. BeauteouS: Giovanna is the second part of a trilogy of films about three sisters and their relationships to beauty. This portrait focuses on the filmmaker, the oldest sister. In this film Giovanna presents the many ways she sees and understands her body. To do so she fragments parts of herself in grotesque and beautiful imagery. This is a challenging presentation, for in the system of cinematic patriarchy it is very difficult to present the women’s body as anything but sexual, and further to present a woman’s subjectivity. It involves breaking the male gaze and constructing a film which uses sound and image (sound most strongly) to present that subjectivity and deny pleasure.

Hand-Some (2004) 12:20 min.
As a lesbian relationship falls apart, this docu-failure, unravels. Part of a series on beauty, this film begins as an exploration of the filmmaker's sister and the role that beauty plays in her life. Giovanna travels to North Carolina to film her sister and sister’s girlfriend moving in together believing that her sister’s sexuality has something to do with beauty. Once the filmmaker arrives, however, the relationship falls apart but Giovanna keeps filming. The movie becomes a documentary about her sister's relationship with her partner and about the conflict between art and respect for personal privacy.

Giovanna Chesler is a Director and Producer of documentary and narrative films addressing themes of the body, sexuality, and gender. Her films include: Period: The End of Menstruation? a feature documentary on cultural and medical trends in menstruation, BeauteouS: The Trilogy, an examination of women and beauty and hand-some, a reflexive documentary on a failing lesbian relationship. Giovanna's films have played in numerous international festivals in fifteen countries including: Chicago International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, and the British Film Institute’s Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival. Awards include the Gold Plaque for Best Student Documentary from the Chicago International Film Festival and Honorable Mention from the Student Academy Awards in the experimental category. Giovanna is an Assistant Professor in The School of Communication, Film & Media Arts Division at American University (visiting for the 2007/2008 academic year) and an Assistant Professor in Communication at the University of California San Diego. She teaches film and video production and media theory and recently published an article on sound pedagogy in the audio video classroom (Jump Cut Winter 2007). She works professionally as a cinematographer.

Benny and Ingrid (2004) 6:35 min.
The story of 2 unlikely lovers, whose relationship rests on the outcome of this particular lunchtime rendezvous.

Naiti Gámez has worked as a cinematographer, director and editor on award-winning films and television series. She has also worked at various non-profit organizations in the U.S. and abroad. As a youth-media educator, she's worked with young people to produce videos about social issues that affect them. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Film Production (Cinematography concentration) at the University of Texas, Austin.

Legions of the Horribles (2007) 10:07 min.
Follows the coming of being as a child abandoned to a group of cloistered nuns to a life in a self-constructed shelter. The narrative operates on a dreamscape questioning notions of storytelling, authenticity, and construction of identity.

Kim Khielhofner is an artist living and working in Montreal. She works across the mediums of video, drawing, installation, and sound. She has produced over 30 art book editions and exhibited across Europe and North America.

A Young Girl's Diary (2007) 3:20 min.
After a disturbing off-screen encounter, performance artist Prickle reenacts the circularity of a young girl's psychic pain. Text excerpted from “A Young Girl's Diary” published by Sigmund Freud in 1919.

Margie Schnibbe
Margie Schnibbe is a former sex worker and a multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker with a BFA in sculpture from Kansas City Art Institute and MFA in film from California Institute of the Arts. She is a writer-director, painter and has worked as a commercial pornographer. Her body of work has included documentary films, experimental shorts, animation, installations and works on paper.

Future episodes include works from:
Lili White, Diana Spodarek, Katja Straub, Erica Magrey, Hilda Daniel & Katarina Jack.